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1 month ago, by Voir Editorial Team Debenhams is back with its “Designers at Debenhams Catwalk to Commercial” Award

1 month ago, by Voir Editorial Team

Debenhams is back with its “Designers at Debenhams Catwalk to Commercial” Award

Debenhams has recently announced the relaunch of their coveted “Designers at Debenhams Catwalk to Commercial” Award, originally launched in 1993, as proof of their commitment to emerging designers and their desire to make fashion accessible to a broader audience.

Since its inception, the British digital department store has been at the forefront of nurturing new talent by providing young designers with a platform to showcase their work. This year, with the relaunch of their acclaimed award, Debenhams promises to support the careers of fresh graduates, as they did with esteemed designers such as Julian MacDonald, Matthew Williamson, and Henry Holland. Dan Finley, CEO at Debenhams, remarks, “Bringing back Designers at Debenhams is a significant milestone for us. Debenhams was a pioneer in this space, writing the blueprint for many talent collaborations.”

For this first edition, judges proclaimed Eleanor McMahon from Manchester Fashion Institute as the winner. Her collection, exploring the notion of nature reclaiming space, highlighted the impact of urbanization on the environment and astonished the judging panel. After reviewing all university students’ collections showcased across the four-day event, they announced Eleanor as the undeniable winner. Rachel King, Buying & Design Director at Debenhams, affirms, “We are so excited to welcome Eleanor into the Debenhams family. Although all students presented impressive collections, Eleanor’s designs stood out to us immediately as the standout winner of the Designers at Debenhams Catwalk to Commercial Award.”

Eleanor McMahon will be awarded a 12-month in-house contract at the retailer, where she will design and create a full collection scheduled to go on sale in 2025 as part of the Designers at Debenhams relaunch. “Embarking on the next stage of my career with Debenhams is incredibly exciting, and I’m eager to dive into the commercial side of the fashion industry,” mentions Eleanor McMahon.

The award was presented during the 32nd edition of Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) 2024, which took place in London from June 10 to 13. This event provides a space where fashion students from disciplines such as design, creative direction, marketing, communication, photography, and illustration can showcase their final-year collections to industry professionals and gain insight into fashion’s main players.

The label’s relaunch comes under the ownership of the online-only Boohoo Group and aims to continue Debenhams’ legacy of supporting English young talent and creating a strong platform where fashion and creativity can be displayed.

Words By Carolina Benjumea

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